The Cretesheet

Mixing Quikrete is easier than mixing concrete, but it can be challenge. To simplify this process, John Shoemaker invented the Cretesheet, which is basically a tough, square piece of tarp plastic about 4 feet square (1.22 meters square), with plastic handles attached to all four corners. You place the Quikrete mix in the middle of the sheet, add the appropriate amount of water, and then you and a partner can simply move the handles up and down to mix the Quikrete. The sheet costs less than $20 and can take away a lot of the difficulties associated with stirring your concrete mix by hand [source: Burlingame].­

How to Mix Quikrete

­Normal concrete is tough to work with. Many concrete projects will deplete your expense account -- you'll have to rent a heavy-duty concrete mixing truck and all the other materials you'll need. Then, if you can't get the truck right up to the site where you'll be laying the concrete, you'll need additional transportation equipment and labor. Laying concrete isn't that tricky, but it's still often be­yond the do-it-yourselfer's time and physical capabilities. You'll usually have to hire a professional to do the job, adding yet another expense. Taking care of your concrete needs with Quikrete might save you money, time and effort.

The general rule for achieving a good Quikrete texture is to use one part water for every five parts of mix. For the best results, it should have the consistency of modeling clay [source: Quikrete]. To get the right mix, you may need to experiment with the proportions, the way you would when trying to perfect your bowl of oatmeal. If the Quikrete is too thick, add small amounts of water slowly. If it's too thin, add more Quikrete mix. When you've gotten the desired results, you can use a small garden shovel to do small touchups, or mold entire batches of Quikrete into large projects

Head over to the next page to read about your Quikrete coating options.